Marchmadness Day 30-Not Giving up

Wow, can you believe it's almost April? Time really flies by when you're in the revision ditches like I've been! Just got the proofs for NO GODDESSES ALLOWED which means this next week I'll be busy checking and rechecking my story before it goes out to get published!


This project seems to have taken FOREVER or like Liz my fab editor at Zumaya likes to say--it has been under the mummy's curse. This is in reference to Jordan's cursed bracelet.

Today I'm going to use A YEAR OF WRITING DANGEROUSLY again! Loving this book that I picked up at ALA12 last summer! Thanks New World Library and Barbara Abercrombie!

#360 On Not Giving Up

Kathryn Stockett got sixty rejections for her bestselling novel THE HELP. Her first rejection read, "Story did not sustain my interest." But it was her very first rejection, so she was actually thrilled with it. She went back to edit her story. On the fortieth rejection, she cried.

She thought like I did after I got this one rejection from my dream agent that even though he would have jumped to sign me on a year ago that he worried that my novel(CROSSED OUT) would struggle in an already saturated market.

I cried.

But I kept on because I had faith that someone would love my novel and I knew it should be out there.

One huge thing I've learned with this biz is that's it's not for the faint of heart. You do develop a hard skin. You have too especially after you do sell your novel and the reviews start coming in.

But one big thing is to be persistent and to not give up!

It took Kathryn Stockett five years and her sixty-first response before she got that 'yes'.

Love this quote from her:

...I can't tell you how to succeed. But I can tell you how to not to: Give in to the shame of being rejected and put your manuscript in the coffin tha is your bedside drawer and close it for good.... Kathryn Stockett

For me it was the seventy-eighth response that lead to that elusive 'yes.'

Also I did a mini happy dance when I got a contract for book two in the GODDESSES series due in 2014!

My question is how do you not give up when it seems like rejection follows you?

Tomorrow is our final day! Don't forget to check in tomorrow with Kelsey Macke at


I have a magnet on my refrigerator, a quote from Winston Churchill, "NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP." I internalize that quote in every aspect of my life.
LisaAnn said…
Great post, and so true. I have finally gotten to the point where the rejections don't sting as much, because I am finally seeing this business for what it is: a business. It doesn't matter how brilliant your story is; if the publishers don't think they can sell it, they won't buy it. Period.

I am also getting better at realizing a rejection is a judgment of my book, not of me as a person. If an editor doesn't connect my story, that doesn't mean I am a worthless human being who is just wasting her time with a pipe dream. She just doesn't love the story enough to put her job on the line for it.

That being said, it's hard not to have discouraged moments. The best thing I think we can do as writers is allow ourselves time to feel that pain. We must just remember to get back up again as soon as we are done. After all, we are writers. This is what we do.
PatEsden said…

Sometimes the best thing for me is to get angry. In turn that makes me more determined to show them all that I can make it.

Kim Harbridge said…
I hate not knowing. Most of the time I'd rather get a rejection than have to keep waiting and waiting and waiting to hear back -- at least then I can take action.
Candilynn Fite said…
I'm stubborn. Bottom line. And like Pat, I sometimes keep pushing on because others have told me I can't. Years ago, I actually had a close family member say, "Oh great, now she wants to be a writer." And around the same time, I'd met an author at her book signing, whom I loved, a complete stranger. She told me to never give up my writing dream. Sad when strangers are more supportive than family.

You just have to keep on, keeping on.

I loved hearing Stockett's story. Thanks, Kim!!
Shari Green said…
I've become intentional about not losing the JOY of writing (because for me the rejection/discouragement/giving-up cycle is broken by taking joy in the writing). This might mean having a just-for-me or just-for-fun project on the side, or taking time for "artist's dates", or meeting with a writer-friend for tea and shop-talk, or savouring the wonder of STORY with a good book (or a good movie).

Also, I'm stubborn, lol. And I've got a habit of sending out another query every time I get a rejection. (Not that I never re-evaluate my query or the project I'm querying...just that I refuse to give myself more than an hour to wallow, heh.)

Checking in with my #wipmadness buddies doesn't hurt, either... ;) (In other words, WHAT WOULD I DO WITHOUT YOU GUYS?!)
Kim Baccellia said…
Great quote Angelina!

Thanks for posting!
Kim Baccellia said…

OMG, so very true. This is a business. If an editor/publisher/agent doesn't 'connect' it's not a reflection of you as a writer.

Still, I do admit it's hard not to get discouraged at times. But you nailed it. It's okay to give ourselves permission to feel pain and then move on.

Thanks for posting!
Kim Baccellia said…

It was the anger of getting the 50+ rejection from CROSSED OUT that made me brainstorm ways to get the attention of the romance editor with another project. It worked! She was so great with giving me feedback and suggestions. She did end up rejecting the project but I later found it a home.

The project? NO GODDESSES ALLOWED which should be coming out within the next couple months!
Kim Baccellia said…

I also hate the not knowing. I have to find something else to do to get my mind off of it. Or better yet, start another project!

Thanks for posting.
Kim Baccellia said…

I still remember my mother-in-law, after reading some of my poetry, tell me to just give it up. My poetry was the way for me to deal with the anger that resurfaced with my abuse. When I had my son, she came in on me when I was writing an essay on my experience adopting at age 41. She also told me she thought I was 'crazy' writing really early in the morning. I'm so glad I didn't listen to her. So yes, it's amazing how strangers can be so encouraging while family can not be so much.

I'm also very stubborn and persistent. You have to be in this biz!

Thanks for posting!
Kim Baccellia said…

Oh, yeah, I'm totally with you here! I give myself permission to do something besides writing whenever I get really down. Once I went on a Roswell the TV series maranthon which helped give me the motivation to dig deeper with my character's love interest. **Max and Liz's love story is amazing!

You'll also be so helpful and supportive to me on my writer's journey. All of you guys have! Thanks so much!!!! This Wipmadness community rocks big time!
I have been struggling with those doubts and frustrations lot lately. I've had those moments where I just want to quit, but even when I try to throw that ms in the fireplace, I just can't do it. And I just can't stop reaching so I write. And I keep on writing. It just the way I breathe...

Hope to see you all on my blog for some Aoril wipmadness!
Girl Parker said…
I think Kathryn Stockett's experience is SO Helpful, if you pardon the pun. I loved everything about that book and am so grateful as a reader she didn't give up. Wouldn't it be great is a reader felt that way about something we write?!
Denise Jaden said…
I'm really loving that book, Kim. I'm going to have to get myself a copy.

I got finished my nonfiction revision yesterday and got to start on a fiction revision today! It made me feel so light and free and HAPPY! Man, I love writing.
Thanks for sharing both Kathryn Stockett's and your stories with us. Posts like these keep the fire lit under me.

By sheer coincidence, I watched 'The Help' last night. Of course, I was engaged by the story so I kept returning my attention to it rather than work. I intend to read the book, as well, but I multitasked my way through my prep for April.

I'll remember this and all the great lessons learned at March Madness.

Aww, now I'm getting all misty-eyed, and it's not just because my downstairs neighbor decided to barbecue an entire farm on his balcony. My room's been enveloped in a BBQ-scented cloud. I shut the window and there are still wisps and curly-Qs dancing in front of me!

#wipmadness forever,

Kim Baccellia said…
Mary Ann,

Ditto here. To me writing is a huge part of me. I can't stop even if I try!

Can't wait for this coming month! For sure will be stopping by your site for April Wipmadness!
Kim Baccellia said…
Girl Parker,

Yes, that would rock big time if readers thought the same thing about our own writing! I had a taste of that with my one Skype visit. Felt so surreal to have teens actually ask, "When is your next book coming out?"

Thanks for posting!
Kim Baccellia said…

When I was at ALA12 last June, I was wandering through the aisles and came across the book. The author and it looked like either her editor or publisher were there. I saw the book and got really excited and asked if I could have one. The author said, "Yes! Please do!" Great reference book!

Yay, you with finishing your nonfiction revision!!!!!

Kim Baccellia said…

Thanks for stopping by! And yes, all these posts this month have kept my writing motivation a going! Great to hear it's helped you too!
Melissa Grey said…
I think a Game of Thrones quote from my favorite Stark child (Arya) would work well today.

"Syrio says that every hurt is a lesson, and every lesson makes you better."

When I feel like giving up, I like to read that quote back and remind myself that whatever snag I've hit is an opportunity to learn and improve.

Got about 6 hours of writing/revising in today. Exhausted, but feeling nicely accomplished. Can't believe March is nearly over. Time flies during WIP Madness.

- M
Carol Garvin said…
I didn't finish the book review today and am decidedly unfocused for any further effort tonight. I gardened this afternoon, watched a hockey game, had company for dinner, watched another hockey game... See what I mean??? BUT I'm not giving up.

I have a couple great books that offer encouragement and inspiration, but I like the sound of A YEAR OF WRITING DANGEROUSLY and might have to look it up. You can never have too much inspiration, right?

I'm pretty philosophical about rejections, but have to admit I don't query very much so haven't accumulated many. Only one shook me up, and that was from the one agent I really, really would love to have worked with. My disappointment didn't stop me from writing, but it did make me put querying on the back burner for a long time and work harder at making my stories and synopses better.

Whenever I get discouraged I remember that every journey is made one step at a time. I'm not much of a jogger, so I'll just keep plodding along.

I hope everyone's last March Madness day is filled with lots of Easter blessings and one last bit of #wipmadness achievement.
Kim Baccellia said…

Oh, so very, very true! You can't grow unless you do fail at some point. It's just hard when you do get those rejections. But I really do think I've learned from those rejections and hope that with each book I continue to grow as an author!

Thanks for posting!
Kim Baccellia said…

I've been there too. After so many rejections, I think lately I've been not pushing myself as hard as I should to get this revision done. Why? I just remember not once, twice, but three times how many rejections I got. I really thought I'd have an agent by now. I almost did sign a couple times but they didn't work out. I just need to do it. Finish revision and start the whole process all over again. If anything it's been some of my NYT bestselling author friends who told me it wasn't that first, second, or even fifth book that was the 'one' but later on. One author friend summed it up, "I was a 10 plus year over night success."

Understand where you're coming from about today. I spent the day shopping for new washer/dryer/oven and also clothes for both son and husband. Busy day! Sometime you need to give yourself time to do other things. Then go back to writing!

Thanks for posting!
Kim Baccellia said…
And Happy Easter and Passover to everyone!
Candilynn Fite said…
Kim, thanks for sharing your story about your MIL. Gosh, yesterday we went for a visit at the in-laws. I had such a let down. See, I had my first picture book published as an ebook app last fall. The illustrator and I decided to publish a print copy on createspace. We accomplished it near the end of Feb. I was so excited! I emailed everyone and gave them the amazon link. I really thought I'd get there yesterday and everyone would have ordered themselves a copy and wanted me to sign them. Fat, freaking chance. Nobody even mentioned the book. Sister-in-laws, MIL, FIL, brother-in-laws...I've been around their family for 23 years! Talk about cold reality. So, I'm with ya there! We (fellow writers) just have to be each others support system. Hugs. :)
Carolyn Charron said…
Good post for the end of WIP! I love writing too much to give it up. Haven't posted much the past few days because I was too busy wallowing in rejection blues.

Then a beta reader gave me a great compliment along with her comments and I'm back in the saddle again, energized by a single person thinking my writing has merit. What a subjective business this is!
Kim Baccellia said…

Yes, my mother in law hasn't been supportive of my writing but I realized that I'm writing for me and not her or anyone else. My own family though has been very supportive and encouraging.

It took me a while to realize that I don't need to have approval from any family member. If it's important enough for me, that's all that matters.

Cyber hugs to you as I totally know what you went through.
Kim Baccellia said…

Yay on the positive feedback! All it takes is that one to give you that push to get back on the whole writing wheel. How exciting!

Thanks for posting!
Denise Jaden said…
Kim...interesting about ALA, because she has the same publisher (new World Library) as my new nonfiction book will have! I hope mine will be available at ALA next year!
Kim Baccellia said…

Yes, the publisher had a small area. I almost missed it but saw the cover and was intrigued enough to stop, pick it up and ask if I could have one. I thought I had to buy it and I would have too. I'm almost pretty sure it was the author's editor who told me "Yes, please do take a copy!" I even spoke a little with them. I was excited as the author is a writing teacher at a college extension program similar to the one I went to for my own writing classes. I attended UC Irvine and totally LOVED my teacher.

Very exciting to hear about your own nonfiction book. I'm hoping to get a YABC review of your one nonfiction book up soon!

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